Regular Poem: A Grown Woman

24 Apr

A grown woman
lives here.

She cleans my house,
and she buys me groceries,
and she pays my taxes.

A grown woman
picks out my clothes for tomorrow,
makes my lunch.

She doesn’t make
all my decisions, but
she sees to the

I wish she were more strict,
would punish me more effectively.

But she’s nobody’s mother.
She’s me
on a good day.
And I wish

she were me
more often.

Regular Poem: Self-Help

23 Apr

not even that
i don’t believe it
coming from myself
but i can’t even make myself say it
to myself

i’ll say it
to you
or to her
or to him

you’re valuable
tomorrow’s a new day
you can do this

i’ll say it
to anyone
and mean it

but the words
in my own throat
to my own self
and turn into

you’re valuable-ish
tomorrow’s the same day
you could do this if

i can
look in the mirror
and say
you’re pretty

but that’s almost always followed by
beauty is passing
and charm is deceitful 
a woman who fears the lord

let me be a woman who fears the Lord
make me a woman who fears the Lord
change my heart and
change my mind and
change my thinking and
turn and face the strange

Regular Poem: Frozen Pizza

22 Apr

i know
i couldn’t really skip town
i can’t even
skip my own house
as impulsive as
i can be–
that tuxedo didn’t buy herself, after all–
i’m always talking myself out of
reaching out
branching out
going out

maybe it’s
the very real fear
of buying a tuxedo
maybe a little literally too
that keeps me
to my frozen pizzas

but maybe i like frozen pizza
and maybe i deserve frozen pizza
and maybe frozen pizza is what i know
and what i can see

maybe i am
the frozen pizza
in the icebox
waiting for the oven to heat up

gosh that’s stupid
forget i said that
forget the frozen pizza thing altogether

i could never skip town
i can’t even skip this poem
or that frozen pizza i had for supper

Regular Poem: A Tragic Tale of Five Minutes

21 Apr

She was standing there on the corner
in the rain
as if she’d been waiting for me
knowing I’d pull around
following me into
my driveway
smiling and damp

She knew
She probably
had a name.
What was it?

And then
the dog catcher pulled up.

I watched
from the garage
as he whistled
and she was so good
and trotted right to
the back of his van
ready to be caught.

I don’t need
another animal.
But for a moment
I wanted one
had one.

Maybe I’ll go
to the pound
If she’s not there,
no harm no foul.
If she is,

sit, Sadie, sit.

Regular Poem: NPR Is Going to Straight Murder Me

20 Apr

all things considered
i’m still listening to NPR
yesterday it was an interview with
a lexicographer

and i found myself
in sumptuous daydreams
about words
and their etymologies
and their first printed usages
an idealized version
of myself
sitting in a dark gothic library
scouring microfiches
i see the exact outfit i’m wearing
navy pencil skirt
cream and olive vertical striped blouse
cream cardigan
cream ankle strap pumps
a lot of rings
shimmery nude lipstick
i always feel like
a member of the bletchley circle
when i wear that

in this fantasy
instead of a murder board
i’ve got
word diagrams
in that phonetic alphabet
i wish i’d taken a course on
in real life
and then i’m spiraling
and wishing and regretting
instead of fantasizing

i swear
why don’t i listen
to a different radio station

Regular Poem: A Rose Is a Rose Is a Rose

19 Apr

if you ever needed more evidence
that flowers
are just
pretty weeds

try to kill a rose bush

i dare you

it comes back
more luscious
and thorny
than before
and seemingly
in a matter of

just embrace the rose bush
accept the rose bush
make it the centerpiece
of your yard

but as soon as you do that
lay any expectation on it
it dies

i don’t know whether it’s a
paradox or
a conspiracy

Regular Poem: I’m Not Gonna Write You a Love Song

18 Apr

there’s a subgenre
of country western song
that’s all about
fist cities
taking jobs and shoving them
keys into sides of pretty little souped up four wheel drives
goin’ home and loadin’ shot guns waiting by the door lighting cigarettes

all precipated
by ill-fated
damaged and damaging
love affairs

they’re gorgeous
and terrible
and twangy

but where
are all the
rage jazz tunes

i want to hear
julie london
croon to me
in that sexy basement register of hers
about vindictive vandalism

what would that sound like

a walking upright bass
the sizzle of a symbol
a tremble in the treble keys of a piano
then slow purring alto fury

now you say you’re sorry
when all you’ve got left is ash
you didn’t say i’m sorry
when all my hopes you did dash

the piano follows
the spiraling the ratcheting up
the bass drum’s
like a broken heartbeat

you thought you had my number
thought you could do me wrong
that i’d sit back and take it
but my fuse is short and my memory’s long

the strings pick up
the brass wails
it’s the chorus and we know
the ex-lover’s in for it now

the fire of our desire burned out
but passion in motion stays in motion
so i wasn’t going to stay home and pout
i’ll bet you’re wishing a lot of things
as your mercedes blows smoke rings
you were my bembo and i was your borgia
but that was over the day you left me
and tonight’s the night the lights go out in georgia


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